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Subject: Boatpix?
 
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pdmathesonUser is Offline
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09/30/2011 1:50 AM  
Anyone that has been involved, or is currently involved, please tell me of your experience with Helicopter Academy and Boatpix. It seems like people either love the idea or hate it. I am to the point where I will do just about anything to build flight time and I'm looking at Boatpix as a potential option. Thanks
chaosUser is Offline

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09/30/2011 10:13 PM  

I did some time-building with them a few years ago,...a lot of fun.

I'm not that fond of their marketing strategy, however, to be perfectly honest, if I had 20k, weighed 180lbs, and was a CFI, I'd go with them.  

boatpixUser is Offline
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10/01/2011 7:02 PM  
The facebook "boatpix pilots" is more likely where you will find the happy ex-boatpix pilots as they are flying twin turbines and don't mix it up in this type of forum anymore. The keyboard gangsters that are are ppl's working on the instruments at the hometown school don't realize that you can go to the boatpix program at $200/hour as the photo company pays the rest. Go to Heli-Success and meet the instructors and owner as at least one helicopter will be nearby at Boulder City airport, Nevaada.
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10/04/2011 9:06 AM  
Send me an e-mail at iflywhitehawks@gmail.com, and I´ll tell you about my experience with Boatpix. I can really recommend it as I got al lot of hrs flying as a CFI.
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10/04/2011 11:45 AM  
I went through the program starting at 0 flight time, and now at 750. I am now employed as the CFI in pensacola. I can personally attest that the company and its program is legit as well as fun, while providing safe training in real world operations.
If the pay was comparable to turbine jobs I would never leave.
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10/16/2011 8:11 AM  
Hi, I did all my training with HelicopterAcademy and at 300 hours flight time i already felt very confident operating in just about any airspace and i felt like a commercial pilot logging over water,low level maneuvering in my logbook(employers like to see that).Then,I took the CFI checkride and did the Robinson factory training and immediately started working for Boatpix/HelicopterAcademy. In a nutshell:It could not have been easier and more fun to work for Boatpix.I got valuable experience as a commercial pilot and instructor doing one of the most fun kind of flying there is-low level,chasing awesome boats with awesome tits on the boats! Let me add one more thing for the smart asses-The best flight school is not yhe one with the shiny uniforms and fancy classrooms but the one that will give you real life commercial flying experienece and the most amount of flight time at the lower cost..yes maintenance is important too. You need to go to a school that guarantees you a job.With 2-300 hours employers won`t even talk to you!I just got hired flying turbine helicopters in China due to my previous flying experience with Boatpix!That matters!
kodozUser is Offline
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10/16/2011 12:22 PM  
I flew about 60 hours with Boatpix last year. It was the first time that I really had to fly the helicopter in the real world, and it was a huge boost in my confidence and skill level. Now that I'm teaching for another school, my Boatpix experience also provided something that none of my flight instructors were able to give me: a commercial perspective to maneuvers, performance, and airspace.

I keep trying to get back onboard with them because I think it's great experience, and I would recommend it to any commercial student or unemployed CFI trying to build time. If you want more info, please PM me and I'll be happy to talk more about what flying for Boatpix entails.
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11/09/2011 2:34 PM  
Boatpix does sound too good to by true. I am not sure how to view this company but I would still give it a shot

LeewenhookeUser is Offline
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11/15/2011 12:43 PM  
Hey, I don't want to slander anybody, but just... trust your instincts on this one.

60-driver, Robinson survivor
SPIFR HEMS pilot
Sayer of Nay

"I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce."

-J. Edgar Hoover
sns3guppyUser is Offline
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11/15/2011 4:15 PM  
The boatpix program; the "employee" is paying boatpix, correct?

How is this employment?
rotormandanUser is Offline
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11/16/2011 10:39 AM  
You're going to get real world experience working anywhere outside of the flight school. Boatpix isn't anything special. Building your time and experience is going to be loads of fun no matter where you get it. The problem with Boatpix is you are actually paying for your job. They are the only ones that guarantee you a job but that's because you buy it. It's too good to be true. I'm sure it's fun and you can get a job after Boatpix when you have built up your time just like if you built your time anywhere. Just do your research and figure out what kind of training do you want.

The sad part is Tom (owner) and his maketing. His post all sound the same with non-stop ranting. He uses many many new profiles on these forums as students promoting him. Notice how all the ex students on here it's they're 1st post. Barnabas got a job in China because he worked at Boatpix? C'mon. How do you come up with this crap?

You can either pay to get trained or take the shortcut and pay to help take pictures. You can earn a job or take the shortcut and buy one. In the end you'll be at the same place with x amount of hours and looking for the next job.


Tom: You have no class.
sns3guppyUser is Offline
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11/16/2011 1:11 PM  
Buying a job is a blight on the industry.  Paying someone else to work isn't working.  It takes one squarely from the position of being the employee, to that of the client.  If one buys a job taking pictures of boats; there are two clients; one is the person who owns the boat, and the other is the pilot flying the helicopter. 

Business owners who sell their jobs do everyone a disservice, and those who take those jobs spit upon the industry.  So long as an employer feels like he can have employees pay him to do the job, it lowers the bar for everyone.  

Think about what this does for you.  The charter pilot has competed with others for a job, has been given training and checkrides and found worthy against a known standard.  The military pilot has competed for the position and been selected, vetted, and been put through the ringer time and time again.  The Canyon pilot has fought turbulence, vomiting passengers, schedules, congested airspace, weather, and other demands, as well as regular checkrides, and has something to show, to say nothing of needing to compete for and be selected for the job.

The pilot who bought his job did nothing more than offer money.  Special skills?  No.  Ideal aptitude?  No.  Excellent customer service?  No.  Superior judgement?  No.  He paid money.  That's his super power.  Wow.

In paying that money, the applicant for such a "job" defecates in the same place he sleeps, the same pool in which everyone else swims.  Should he expect some great leg-up or recognition in the industry for his savvy and effort?  No.  He should hang his head and slink away in shame for having damaged the industry, and for his low morals in seeking "employment" he had to buy.

Let's face it, it's not a job.  It's a discount rental operation while making money for someone else.  The owner/operator gets his cake and eats it too; everyone else pays through the nose, and is deluded enough to feel grateful for the experience.  They're usually proud of their accomplishment until years later when they want to know why the industry pay isn't higher.  It's due in part to those who were willing to prostitute themselves to employers who sold jobs, on the premise it might give them an advantage over others who earned their experience.

Sorrowful and pitiful show, really.
plumberUser is Offline
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11/16/2011 5:01 PM  
The last 2 posts hit the nail on the head. I would also like to add that the people like myself and probably the last 2 posters are or will one day be in the position to hire (or at least have a say in it) I for one will chose the pilot who cut his teeth and not the one who bought his way. I've had my say in several people just on this fact alone. Just some food for thought.
Unemployed GuyUser is Offline

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11/16/2011 6:09 PM  
Some more food for thought.

Boatpix has been around for a very long time.  I suppose that its possible that one day, one of us may be in an interview for a job we really want, and the guy sitting across from us (with our fate in his hands) is a former Boatpix pilot!?

I think about 100hrs after the initial purchase, they do start to pay their pilots?
plumberUser is Offline
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11/16/2011 7:14 PM  
Maybe so. But I know where I stand and that my friend is what matters to me. If you are unemployed in this industry like your moniker suggests.I hope you have deep pockets with that attitude. Boatpix on your resume would hit the circular filing cabinet in my office. Good luck to you.
skipperUser is Offline
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11/16/2011 8:29 PM  
Does that go for all robbie time ? Would you say the same about SSH on a resume ? Just wondering.
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11/16/2011 8:50 PM  
I'm sad to say my pockets are nowhere near deep enough for such an endeavor. I just thought it was worth pointing out, that havining prejudices in such a small industry could come back to bite you in the ass some day?
sns3guppyUser is Offline
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11/17/2011 8:33 AM  
When was the last time you used an attorney, in which the attorney offered to pay you for the privilege of doing your work?  That hasn't happened?  Ask yourself why.

Have you ever been to an emergency room for medical work, and had doctors fall over themselves trying to see who could hire you as a patient?  No?

Ever seen a general contractor approach someone and ask how much that person would charge to let the contractor build them a house?

Seem all backward?  It is.

"Employers" like Boatpix are users.  Not employers.  As an aviation professional, a commercial pilot, you should NOT be paying an employer for the privilege of working.  You should be getting paid.  If you go to an employer who has low enough scruples to charge you to work for them, it speaks poorly of you, and poorly of the employer.  The immediate question is why you couldn't find a job that you didn't have to buy.  Were you not able to perform and couldn't pass a checkride?  Couldn't pass muster at an interview?  The very fact that one has bought a job immediately raises questions as to your competence.  You may be a very competent person, but you may never get the chance to show it, because of a black mark in your background like having bought your training and bought your job.  New pilots don't understand this; they think they're getting a leg up in the industry, and they buy the line of malarky that users like Boatpix promote.

Training new employees is expensive.  It's more expensive in some aircraft than others.  From the employer perspective, imagine having a business in which you not only don't have to pay the employee, but the employee pays you.  What a deal!  Finding a way to get employees to finance training isn't new, but it's also still as reprehensible as it always has been.

A few years ago I interviewed for a jet charter position.  I was offered the job, then the other shoe dropped.  The employer wanted me to open a bank account, which the employer would co-sign, and I was supposed to take out a loan for my training.  The employer would pay it back over six months, at which point I would need to take out another loan.  Given that some aircraft cost upto 40,000 for training, and given that most pilots there operated several types of aircraft, you can imagine how that would add up. If one ever wanted to leave, one would be stuck with the loan or whatever was left on the loan...an ongoing, rolling loan. 

I turned the job down.  I don't pay for training, and I won't pay an employer to work for that company, agency, or person.  It's not going to happen. 

What happens if one of us sits down across an interview desk and learns that the person on the other side of the desk has done the pay-to-play program?  I can't speak for anyone else, but I thank them for their time and I leave.   I was employed once for an operator who announced one day that he would be instituting a program for new hires in which they paid for their training.  I already had the job, and was a senior pilot there.  I immediately informed them that the moment that program took effect, I quit, and told them to consider that warning my notice.  I've done that twice, now.

I once sat across the desk from a chief pilot discussing this same thing.  He pointed through a window to a Gulfstream business jet in the hangar and challenged my resolve.  He said he'd give me a 40,000 dollar raise if I'd go pay for the type rating, and he'd move me to the Gulfstream.  I told him if he made that offer again I'd quit.  I don't stomach that kind of foolishness.  I'm a professional.  If the employer wants to use my services he can cover the training costs, and pay me a reasonable salary.  I'm not going to whore myself out, and I'm certainly not going to pay someone else for the privilege of working for them.  I'm not going to work for someone that charges others for training, either.

I interviewed with a regional airline many years ago, and during one phase of the interview, I was presented with a packet showing what employees needed to pay the airline for their training.  I was told that I wouldn't need to pay, because I had enough experience that I was exempt.  It was only for inexperienced applicants, they said.  I thanked them for their time, picked up my briefcase, and left.  They asked why.  I told them I won't work for an operation that does that. 

If you're desperate enough, I suppose you might.  However, if you're desperate, you're probably not in a position to float the money necessary to go pay Boatpix (et al) to do their work.  No; only people who can afford to buy a job go to places like that.  People with money, and people who can't seem to get hired anywhere legitimate. 

This isn't prejudice.  The practice of charging employees to work is reprehensible and wrong.  Recognizing that wrong is not a prejudice.  Best of luck to Boatpix; they're savvy folks who have found a way to not only milk money out of customers, but out of their pilots, too.  Can you imagine PHI or another legitimate operator charging pilots for turbine time, or for gulf time, or for aeromedical time?  Unthinkable.  They wouldn't get away with it.  It works with boatpix because they're raping pilots who either don't know better or don't care, who are willing to sacrifice morals for an easy route, who think that all it takes is money. 

Spend your money flight training, getting your certification.  You could look at Boatpix as a means of less expensive helicopter rental.  However, at that point in your burgeoning career, it's time to find a job that pays you, not to rent helicopters to work for someone else.  The concept of working means you're getting compensated, not compensating the employer.  Think about it.
yzchopperUser is Offline
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11/17/2011 9:19 AM  
sns3guppy,
very well said. I thought the same thing about SSH when I first looked into getting my certificates to fly helicopters, that's why I went elswhere for my training. I do not see how anybody would want to pay all up front for their training, or even pay an employer to allow them to fly when that employer is suppose to be paying them.
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11/17/2011 10:32 AM  
To answer your question skipper and pardon ay spelling mistakes. Robinsons are a large part of the industry like it or not they are not going anywhere. I trained on a bell 47 and did alot of flying in the 44 to build hours. I have about a 0.3 on a 22 and that was more than enough. It is a good platform to learn basic skills but it also will make a sloppy pilot out of you if you let it. (once you get into turbines you will understand what I am saying thats assuming you haven't done that yet) As far as SSH is concerned if a student has the money up front for training so be it, if they are dumb enough to play that game well when it bites them in the arse don't come crying to me. SSH was pure robbery and they were taking money right up untill the end and why the ownership is not serving time still baffles me. That being said Boatpix is legit they tell you up front the deal. You will pay to work for us. It is up to you to make the choice to buy your job for the next couple years. Hard choice sometimes to make when you want something that badly, I took the long road and it was not easy,so if I see someone has bought his way to where I am then it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Just my 2 cents.
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11/17/2011 11:26 AM  
I'm a little confused here.  If you pay Boatpix 20k for 100hrs in an R22 Mariner, and in return they hire you, you've just essentially "bought a job",...ok.

However, if you keep that job until you have 1000hrs, all the while getting paid $20/hr (hobbs), why is that so horrible?

So you've paid 80k for your first job as a boat photo pilot, instead of 60k for your first job as a CFI,...big deal!

If I were an employer, I certainly wouldn't hold it against an applicant, if they paid more money for their first job, than another,...even if I didn't agree with that particular companies hiring policy!

In case you haven't noticed, there are A LOT of new pilots out there looking for work, and if the only way to get in somewhere is to spend a little more money, then that's what you've gotta do!

Personally, I'm in the process of getting my CDL, with the off-chance it could get me in with an AG company,...so I'm spending more money to buy a job!  Am I now such a horrible person that you would throw away my resume, just at the sight of it?

If Boatpix pilots have to buy themselves all the way up to 1000hrs without ever getting paid, then where are the "scam" posts from all of their ex-pilots!  And who could really afford to pay that much anyway!
plumberUser is Offline
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11/17/2011 12:10 PM  
You can argue all day long whats the big deal and thats your right. Just as I have the right to choose who I recommend to hire or not. Its a beautiful thing having choices, I chose to sweep hanger floors, paint crew house's, and generally eat turds untill I got my chance at flying all while being paid, not much but I wasn't paying. I'm done here, I could buy a pile of beer with that extra money I saved on not going with your route. All the best.
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11/17/2011 12:32 PM  
I'm a little confused here.  If you pay Boatpix 20k for 100hrs in an R22 Mariner, and in return they hire you, you've just essentially "bought a job",...ok.

No, you're not confused.  That's exactly the case.

However, if you keep that job until you have 1000hrs, all the while getting paid $20/hr (hobbs), why is that so horrible?

Let's turn that around a little.  Let's say you get a thousand hours on the basis of having bought your job.  You put your resume on my desk, and I review it, and learn that you weren't hired based on your skill, your understanding, your personality, or your abilities.  You didn't get your job because you proved yourself.  You didn't get your job based on a recognized standard.  You got your job because you paid for it.

Pilots are a dime a dozen. 

A dozen other resumes are on the desk.  Some instructing, some came from the military, some here, some there, and then there's yours.  Other pilots had to perform and bring in business in order to get and keep their jobs.  Other pilots had to compete for a military slot, train, pass multiple levels of screening, then go fly in combat.  Each is thoroughly vetted, each has numerous qualifications.  Except yours.  You've got the same flight time, but you got it not on your own merits, but because you thought you could cut to the front of the line.  Your sole qualification is that you bought your way in. 

Does that sound impressive to you?  It's not.

...why is that so horrible

What's so horrible, you ask?  At this no-nothing stage in your career, your answer is not surprising.  You don't know enough to know why.  You haven't any experience to know why.  You wouldn't understand.  It's not until later in your career when you begin to whine about the pay, the respect, the conditions, the treatment, when you begin to look back and see no-nothings who felt it perfectly acceptable to spit on the industry, lower the bar, defecate in the job pool, and hurt everyone by paying for a job.  That day may be ten or twenty years down the line when you finally come to your senses, but if you stick with the industry long enough, one day you'll understand.


If I were an employer, I certainly wouldn't hold it against an applicant, if they paid more money for their first job, than another,...even if I didn't agree with that particular companies hiring policy!

But you're not an employer, are you?  You don't have the position or the experience.  Woulda, coulda, shoulda, eh?

It has nothing to do with agreeing with the policy.  When looking for a pilot applicant, an employer seeks someone who will return good service, someone with a known, solid history, someone they can trust with their reputation, their client, their machine.  Two pilots can walk in the door with the same amount of flight time in the same machines, but coming from two different companies; the one with the better reputation will boost that pilot to the head of the line in most cases. 

The question naturally arises when considering someone who bought their job; why did they have to do that?  What's wrong with this applicant, that he or she couldn't get hired somewhere?  Not good enough? Bad personality?  Silver spoon?  Couldn't pass a checkride?  Not willing to get out and work?  Not willing to put in his or her dues? 

That someone elected to go that route instead of earning their stripes leaves a little black cloud hanging over them.  The cloud is punctuated with a large question mark.

In case you haven't noticed, there are A LOT of new pilots out there looking for work, and if the only way to get in somewhere is to spend a little more money, then that's what you've gotta do!

No, it's not "what you've gotta do."  It's also nothing new.  Everyone started out as a new pilot, and very, very few professionals ever lowered themselves enough to prostitute out with a pay-to-play program. 

Again, you're new.  I don't think at this stage you have any idea of what it takes to make it in aviation.  Not yet.  It doesn't involve buying jobs.  It may involve starving, numerous moves, multiple job changes and locations as you seek the work, taking second jobs, and a lot of other aspects of our reality.  You'll learn.

Personally, I'm in the process of getting my CDL, with the off-chance it could get me in with an AG company,...so I'm spending more money to buy a job!  Am I now such a horrible person that you would throw away my resume, just at the sight of it?

Your CDL is a job qualification.  You can't drive commercially without it.  It allows you to do many things.  You're not buying a job.  You're seeking additional training on your own.  This is no different than your inability to get a commercial flying position without a commercial pilot certificate. 

Where you'll have a problem is if you decide to go drive a truck, and tell your employer that instead of him paying you, you'll give the employer a dollar a mile to drive his rig.  Don't worry about the pay, you say, I'll pay you.  How this is actually a job doesn't dawn on you, because you're shortcutting yourself to the head of the line.

I flew a Learjet for an operator that had a number of different high speed equipment.  A gentleman began coming around, and befriended the boss.  Soon the boss, a single older individual, was hanging out with the new guy at barbeques and functions.  The new guy was retired, a former stock broker, and had a story about his past flying experience.  He'd flown for a military contractor, he said, and I wondered, along with everyone else, how it was that he'd never upgraded.  Especially as he'd flown three years, and most upgraded in one.  Eventually he said he'd like to fly here and there, nothing serious, just something to do in his retirement.  He said he'd even self-sponsor, go get a type rating, and just wanted to hang out.  I rode on a screening checkride with him, and it was horrendous.  I spent a couple of hours reviewing the cockpit with him, and his questions consisted mostly of "what's this?" and "what does that do?" 

He went off to FSI and barely made it through.  He came back and in short order, nobody would fly with him.  He was just too dangerous.  Regretfully, I flew with him twice, and each time returned with a strong recommendation that he be fired and never return.  I refused to fly with him, and eventually he left.  His "in" was that he bought his way in  It wasn't his ability or skill.  He went somewhere else and did the same thing.  Last I heard, he hadn't actually killed anyone, but it's a small miracle. 

When someone buys a job, their credibility is out the window.

Gaining your CDL is not the same thing.  If you think it is, you have a lot to learn on the subject. 

If you feel that prostituting yourself is the way to go, have a ball.  See how it works out for you.  Good luck.
plumberUser is Offline
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11/17/2011 1:13 PM  
sns3guppy, I like your style.
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11/17/2011 1:51 PM  
...I could buy a pile of beer with that extra money I saved on not going with your route. All the best.
Not my route,...I can't afford it.  I just don't think that you two should be looking down your noses at those who do take it,...but as you mentioned, that's your right.


"The question naturally arises when considering someone who bought their job; why did they have to do that?  What's wrong with this applicant, that he or she couldn't get hired somewhere?  Not good enough? Bad personality?  Silver spoon?  Couldn't pass a checkride?  Not willing to get out and work?  Not willing to put in his or her dues?"

How about, he just couldn't get, even an interview, because there's so much competition, and everyone is doing the same things , and he can't find a way to stand out from the crowd?

You also seem to be assuming that they are buying a job they are not qualified to do, but a 200hr pilot is more than qualified to fly photos!  He's not some lazy, inexperienced, nutjob trying to buy his way into an Astar in the Grand Canyon,...we're talking about photos in an R22!

I realize it doesn't look good if the only reason they hired you to do a job you are already qualified to do, is because you paid them, but what about the experience you get while they ARE paying you,...is it worth nothing?

As for my CDL.  I'm only getting it because they won't hire me as a pilot, not because I want to drive commercially.  I'm not sure how that's different from buying time in type to get hired?

How about this scenario:

I want to work for a company doing commercial work in an R44.  They tell me they will only hire instrument rated pilots (even though the R44 cannot fly under IFR).

I go and pay to get my instrument rating, and then they hire me.

Since I just had to buy additional training that I will not be able to use, with that company, in order to get that job, did I just buy that job?,...and would that also make you throw away my resume?


One more thought;  How would you guys feel about a guy working in the high-tech industry, who at 30 buys an R44, flies it around privately to 1000hrs, then at 40 gets his commercial and applies for a job?  Yes, its a similar scenario to yours, but how do you know that just because he was paying to fly, his experiences are useless, and he's a lousy pilot?


Ok, one last question and I'll let this go; Given your apparent disdain for Boatpix pilots,  What would you do, if after having been working for a company for a while, doing something you really enjoy, you find out that the owner/chief pilot had worked for Boatpix?
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11/17/2011 3:13 PM  
sns3guppy and plumber, I don't think Unemployed Guy is asking rhetorical questions. He just wants to know people's opinions. Take it easy on him or he might get the false impression that pilots are arrogant.

I mostly agree with what's been said so far with minor exceptions. The "pay for your job" model at Boatpix is not new or unique. In other industries, it's called an internship or residency. So yes, there are in fact aspiring doctors and lawyers at hospitals and law firms that are working for free or slightly above that during the training phase of their career.

In airplanes, there is a company called Gulfstream Airlines (better known as Continental Connection) that will hire you with a ME Commercial, instrument ticket and 250TT and a check for $25,000. People at other regional airlines badmouth them and say that those guys didn't pay their dues by instructing like everyone else. Co-pilots that do a good job at Gulfstream end up with a BE1900 type rating, upgrade to captain if slots are available and even move on to other regional carriers. There are international cargo operators that will sell you time in their beat up B-747, 727 or MD-11 and possibly hire you further down the road.

Everyone "pays for their job" in one way or another. The transaction is just a little more overt at places like Boatpix or Gulfstream. I think the point the guys on this thread are trying to make is that the reason employers want to hire people with 1,000TT is the reasonable assumption that by that point in your career you’ve gained enough experience and seasoning to be entrusted with their million-dollar helicopter.

Instructing is in many ways one of the most challenging flying jobs out there. Combat flying can sometimes be scarier but you usually have a big power margin and a bunch of crewmembers to assist you in your giant multi-engine turbine aircraft with AFCS, SAS, FPS, two of every system, etc. Notsomuch in a Robby. It’s all on you and other than two magnetos and two “2’s” in the name of the aircraft (haha!), there is no redundancy. Most pilots can handle any aircraft 99% of the time. It’s that 1% or irregular events or malfunctions that separates the wheat from the chaff. If you spent your first 1,000 hours receiving dual instruction and then taking pictures of boats, you probably won’t be exposed to as many “experience-building” scenarios that you would have as a CFI. Consequently, when your resume is sitting on an employer’s desk, you will be hard pressed to make a case that you have the same experience, composure and decision-making ability as a CFI with comparable hours. So yes, employers generally put a premium on quality hours and view instructing more favorably than photo flying or aerial tours.

Silver State: I’ve met SSH alumni who were legit and I’ve SSH alumni who were idiots. SSH folded in 2007. That’s ancient history. Most of those guys have proven themselves to be one or the other at this point. I’ve met a few SSH guys in front of the GOM maintenance hangar or at the USFS helibase and we had a chuckle about it, but no one cares anymore.

Robinson time: Remember that stuff the owner of the flight school told you about all the Vietnam guys retiring and the industry being taken over by civilians? Well it’s true. Listening to guys do that Robby vs. Schweitzer thing wears me out. It’s like watching two guys argue about Ford vs. Chevy or Tastes Great vs. Less Filling. I dunno what’s better. They both scare the hell out of me and I’m glad I’ll never have to touch either one ever again, but…

When I got out of the Army in 2009, I went to get my CFI ratings in an R22. Between sweaty volleyballs games in our tight blue jeans and riding up and down the flightline on our Ninjas, my friends and I had spent several years making fun of Robbies. I thought CFI training was going to be a big joke. That was a poor assumption to make an understatement. My first hour in the R22 was unsafe. The instructor had to take the controls several times to save the aircraft. Compared to the UH-1, UH-60 or OH-58, the autos were fast and violent. Instrument flying was difficult due to lack of force trim and the inherent instability of the aircraft. The power margin was very tight. I had to re-learn how to fly and actually apply the power management techniques I had read about in textbooks years earlier. Previous to that, my IP would say shit like, “OK, we’re hovering at 62% and max torque today is 120%, but let’s pretend it’s 70% and do this confined area takeoff.” Whoopty doo. In the Robby, my CFI would say, “OK, we’re hovering at 21” and max power is 23”, so if you F@**^! up this confined area takeoff, we’re all gonna die.” That's good training!

Had I not had the experience I had in that evil death trap, I do not believe I would not have good power management habits to consistently fly an EC-135 or BO-105 out of the trailer park or Piggly Wiggly parking lot at max gross weight in July. If you got your time in a light piston, actually learned something and can prove it on a 135.293 ride, no one can say shit to you. My two cents.

60-driver, Robinson survivor
SPIFR HEMS pilot
Sayer of Nay

"I regret to say that we of the FBI are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce."

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plumberUser is Offline
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Posts:143

11/17/2011 5:14 PM  
I don't see what you mean all I think we did was give him our opinion. I don't recall any name calling or putting him down personally.
sns3guppyUser is Offline
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Posts:41

11/17/2011 5:26 PM  
There are international cargo operators that will sell you time in their beat up B-747, 727 or MD-11 and possibly hire you further down the road.

What company is selling time in a 747 or MD-11?  Which international cargo companies do this? 

All the 747 international cargo operators I know require a fair amount of experience and time, and definitely do not sell jobs.  I'm interested to know about these MD-11 and 747 operators that are selling jobs.

Gulfstream is a well known blight on the industry, and I can absolutely affirm that I've seen people blackballed for having gone there.  I can also affirm that I've turned away people who went there.

I mostly agree with what's been said so far with minor exceptions. The "pay for your job" model at Boatpix is not new or unique. In other industries, it's called an internship or residency. So yes, there are in fact aspiring doctors and lawyers at hospitals and law firms that are working for free or slightly above that during the training phase of their career.

I believe I clearly noted that the pay-to-play scheme isn't new.  Far from it.  However, none of those doctors or attorneys are paying the clinic, firm, hospital, or practice to work there.  Accordingly, it's apples to oranges.  You need to stick to one piece of fruit; apples to apples will do just fine.  Paying an employer to be an employee is not employment. 

Flight instructing is very close to an internship.  It pays very little, the work can be long and difficult, and there's little recognition.  Most industries and trades see a progression through entry-level jobs, onward and upward to bigger and better.  Aviation is no different.  Flight instructing is typically an entry-level job.  This is not the same as buying a job.

Southwest Airlines requires that all new-hires hold a 737 type rating.  Several providers will do this, or one can arrive at the table with 737 experience.  SWA does not type applicants, and does not charge applicants.  An applicant who wants to work at SWA must have his or her own type rating before starting training, and training is predicated on the individual already being typed.

SWA does not sell jobs, and applicants do not buy them.  Boatpix, on the other hand, does.  Everyone does NOT pay for their job in one way or another.  Everybody pays for their training in one way or another, but that's a far, far cry from paying for a job.  Paying an "employer" for training, or paying an employer to work for the employer speaks very poorly of the employer and the so-called employee.


As for my CDL.  I'm only getting it because they won't hire me as a pilot, not because I want to drive commercially.  I'm not sure how that's different from buying time in type to get hired?

You're missing the point entirely.  You're going somewhere to seek commercial driver certification.  It may be a driving school, or perhaps you're borrowing a truck, but it's something you've set out to do.

That is very different from an employer selling you the training, and you doing a revenue-producing job for the employer while paying them for the training.  If an employer wants you as a driver, the employer really ought to get that for you.  I wouldn't consider working for an employer that wouldn't do it.  Never the less, you're seeking a driving privilege that you can take to any trucking company and use to get work driving anything from a beer truck to delivering flowers or driving cross country. 

If your prospective flying employer were to tell you that you needed 30,000 commercial miles, and that he'd charge you to work for him until you had those under your belt, then you'd be making an apples to apples comparison, and you'd be closer to understanding the point.  It's one thing to seek out personal enhancement to better yourself.  It's another thing entirely to go to work for an employer, and pay the employer for the privilege.

I would never go buy time in an aircraft in the hope that an employer might be impressed that I had a few measly hours in that type aircraft.  Especially if it's the employer that's selling the time. 

Years ago a job I wanted came and went.  I interviewed, was hired, and then the job went away.  Changes in the program and changes in aircraft mean that the experience I had when I applied no longer mattered.  I needed other specific experience.  I spent the next seven years gaining that experience on the job, the hard way, just to be presentable to the employer.  When next I went back to them, I had those seven years and recent, current experience to offer.  I didn't go try to buy a few hours to wave in their faces.  They'd have laughed me out the door, then slammed it on me had I tried to do so. 

How about this scenario:

I want to work for a company doing commercial work in an R44.  They tell me they will only hire instrument rated pilots (even though the R44 cannot fly under IFR).

I go and pay to get my instrument rating, and then they hire me.

Since I just had to buy additional training that I will not be able to use, with that company, in order to get that job, did I just buy that job?,...and would that also make you throw away my resume?

You're still missing the point.  Having an instrument rating is a basic pilot qualification.  I flew the first five commercial years of my career without one, but eventually got one because I wanted to do some flight instructing.  I didn't bother with the CFII until years later, and only then because an operator for whom I was flying wanted me to have it.  Because the employer wanted me to get it, I let the employer pay for it, using a company aircraft.  I had no need for it, so if the employer wanted it, it was up to the employer to take care of it. 

An instrument rating is basic certification.  If your employer insists you have one and you're already working for the employer, then the employer probably ought to set you up.  In the case of the instrument rating, it's not really like a type rating or a specialized rating.  It's a basic core of what you should have had when you got done with your primary flight training. 

Where the problem would arise is the employer telling you to get a type rating, then charging you to get it, while you're performing revenue operations.  You're trying to draw an analogy to the Boatpix question, and you're still not managing to make an apples to apples comparison.  Boatpix is not asking you to go get additional qualifications you should have had.  Boatpix is getting you to do revenue flying for them while you pay them for the privilege.  After you've paid them enough, then they start paying you, but not very well.


One more thought;  How would you guys feel about a guy working in the high-tech industry, who at 30 buys an R44, flies it around privately to 1000hrs, then at 40 gets his commercial and applies for a job?  Yes, its a similar scenario to yours, but how do you know that just because he was paying to fly, his experiences are useless, and he's a lousy pilot?

I've known people in the rotor world and in the fixed wing world who did just that.  Generally speaking, I don't have much respect for their experience.  A thousand hours for one person is not the same as a thousand hours for another.  A thousand hours of instructing to the standards of a school, undergoing frequent evaluations, being surveiled and tracked by the FAA, acting as a check airman, and constantly explaining and teaching every aspect of flying is not the same as puttering around in your own aircraft looking at the leaves change color.

A lousy pilot?  No way to tell without at least sitting down to talk.  I usually know most of what I need to know about an aviator before we ever get to the aircraft.  Going flying only confirms it.  That said, I haven't met very many private owners who impressed me much.  I've run into a number of them who buy something they have no business in, then hire someone to fly around with them.  It's almost axiomatic that such jobs are to be avoided, in fact.  There's a big difference between someone with a thousand hours in type who had to earn those hours and regularly prove himself though checkrides, customer observation, and who has performed to a regularly evaluated high standard, and someone who has got a thousand hours in type for no other reason than he bought them. 

You seem to think it's all about hours, and it's not.  An employer looks closely at employment history, and most certainly the source of those hours is important.  So far as a private owner vs. a working pilot goes; one is vetted, the other is not.

Ok, one last question and I'll let this go; Given your apparent disdain for Boatpix pilots,  What would you do, if after having been working for a company for a while, doing something you really enjoy, you find out that the owner/chief pilot had worked for Boatpix?

I don't care about boat pix pilots.  I don't care for them or against them; I'm ambivalent.  They make their bed (and wet it); they must lie in it. 

What would I do, upon learning that a management person had gained his position by having once worked for Boatpix?  I'd lose a measure of respect for him, and I'd probably tell him why.  However, if he's the senior management then who to hire or not hire is his call and not mine.  Chances are that such a person is probably predisposed to hire others who went his route, and that's his choice. 

If that individual attempted to start selling jobs, I'd be out of there in a heartbeat.  I've done it before, and will do it again.
rotormandanUser is Offline
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Posts:38

11/21/2011 6:50 PM  
The main thing is, is the employer making money off of someone else while you're paying them at the same time to do the required training? Getting a cdl or instrument rating can be done anywhere. The ag company doesn't care where you got your cdl as long as you have it. The r44 job doesn't care where you got your instrument rating just as long as you got it. Boatpix requires you buy 100 hours from Them only regardless of your experience. You should already be qualified to fly photo flights in an r22 if you're a commercial pilot especially if you've trained in a 22. Even if you have 100 hours of mariner time you are required to buy that time from THEM only before they pay you. Your 100h hours of required training isn't even time spent training. It's time spent working making them even more money. You're not doing autos to the water or practicing maneuvers. You're flying low level circles and hovering OGE. Even then they only guarantee you a job for 100 hours more. There is a difference between buying training to help yourself and buying a job.
jerryfliesUser is Offline

Posts:0

11/21/2011 8:40 PM  
 
...Even if you have 100 hours of mariner time you are required to buy that time from THEM only before they pay you.


So, if I had 300TT including 100hrs R22 Mariner (from another company), I would still have to buy 100hrs from them before getting hired,...are you sure?
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